Family of five flees as fire guts Slave Lake home

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Fire broke out in a home in the northwest part of Slave Lake on the morning of Jan. 6. Fire crews responded quickly from the nearby hall in Slave Lake and from Widewater.

A couple of hours later, they were still pouring water on the fire, from above via the boom truck and from ground level, but smoke was still coming from inside the structure and rising into the frigid air, which by that time had risen to -36 Celsius. A slight breeze from the east was causing smoke and a lot of steam to drift westward. A lot of water was running in that direction too, making sections of 6th Ave. and 8th St. very slippery indeed.

It’s a tough break for the Dagohoy family, but they have support. That same morning a ‘gofundme’ campaign was launched by family members or friends and showed up online.

Fire chief Alex Pavcek says everyone got out safely, and there was little damage to other structures nearby, “as far as we could see.” What damage there was came from smoke, he says.

The report on the fire came in just after 8 a.m., Pavcek says, and the very cold temperature “proved to be one of our biggest challenges.” Deep snow around the sides and back of the home also added some difficulty to the task.

Fires during extremely cold weather are unfortunately not uncommon, for whatever reason.

“We expect it,” deputy chief John McDermott told The Leader at the scene.

Fire guts SL residence

A fire broke out in a 6th Ave. NW home at the worst possible time last week – when it was -37C. The Lesser Slave Lake Regional Fire Services battled the blaze all morning on Jan. 6, but a lot of damage was done. The family was displaced, but from what we hear is being looked after.
Photo courtesy LSL Regonal Fire Service
Fire chief Alex Pavcek, left, was on the scene with crews from Slave Lake and Widewater on the morning of Jan. 6, at 37 below zero.

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